THUGS VERSUS THUGS — A NO-WIN SITUATION

An incident on 24 June yesterday (my birthday) has given the online Pashtun “nationalist” motley and “Pakistani democratic” crowd another much needed occasion to scream in vehemence. A drunken youth going by the street hooligan style nickname of “Amiray Tahkalay” had verbally abused the women of police officials and released a video of his act. In return the local KP Police caught him and stripped him naked to humiliate him, making a video of that too. Although the Police are certainly no angels and on the face of it the act by the Police seems brutish and uncalled for, there are actually deeper sinister realities at play in this situation, which the “nationalist” Pashtuns and their “liberal” Pakistani political allies would prefer to keep unmentioned. If one looks closely in the light of known facts, then it becomes clear that each of these parties in arguments such as this — has its own dirty and untruthful axe to grind.

I was telling one such clever nationalist guy over here now, that — what would you do if some drunken pig suddenly came up and made a public video, mentioning you by name in it, saying that he wanted to f*ck your mother, sisters and wife? You would most probably reply without consideration, with the full force of your typical “ghairatmand” Pashtun fury and shoot that person. Any Pashtun who follows “Pashtunwali” would be obliged to at the very least harm such a person in order to “redeem his honour” publicly. Moreover, it is a Pashtun habit to abuse their enemy’s women in order to “get at them”; and it is expected by custom that the victim of such an attack should reply suitably.

And it is this raw tribal “Pashtunwali” that also forms the basis of the Pashtun “nationalist” and cultural outlook. The irony is, that at the same time, they try to appear bourgeois and modernized — most of them being immigrants are supporters of the West in Afghanistan…a lot are underage “trolls” with no real knowledge of matters — who are out on the internet, just to have a good time. We also need to ask these “nationalists” that if they hate Pakistan’s corrupt system and its ruling elites so much — then why do they favour the West and its system of imperialism that is responsible for keeping alive the Pakistani State and feeding its corrupt elites??

It also has to be noted, that the KP Provincial Police is the sole organ of Pakistan’s Government which proudly upholds “Pashtunwali” as part of its image and work. That has been the case since British times, and there are solid reasons for this. Many may not be fully aware of this, that the KP Police always speak Pashto during office hours, and that subordinate police officials in KP always refer to their senior officers by the title of “Khan”. I have even seen this term being used for PSP officers from Punjab and Sindh posted here. So the KP Police was not doing anything unusual in the manner with which it responded to “Amiray’s” provocation…

Commentators would like to have us believe that Amiray and his likes are fed up of the general conditions of unemployment and government misrule and inefficiency obtaining in the country — so that is why he did what he had to. I don’t think so. That is a lame excuse invented to make this episode seem politically correct. If one looks at Amiray’s video, then he praises some policemen, besides abusing others. It seems to be a personal vendetta. I also saw photos of Amiray dressed in smart shirt and pants with a walkie-talkie….like some well paid “educated” employee of a respectable corporate setup, not a village lout. He and his friends were well-off enough to waste money on alcohol (which by the way is a criminal offense in Pakistan — although it appears that even God Almighty partakes of the stuff when over here, such is the extent to which this law is disregarded in Pakistan. Especially by the Anglophone elite).

It is an entirely different matter that the Pakistani State’s infrastructure and services are by now rotten to the core, and are beyond cure…..and to say that this needs addressing would in fact be laughable in its naiveté. But those who scream about such issues are infact not addressing them properly at all. The thuggishness of Pashtun tribal tradition must not be hidden behind the façade of elite degeneracy. Both are illnesses that have to be dealt with: the prolonged, Western-supported rot in the ruling system is a core pressing problem, however I think that the Police and the local population also know each other rather well over here…

Shaitana, tar komay poray ba khpal asliyat pataway?

Scholar, Historian, Ethnologist, Philosopher, Activist.